Comics

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Spider-Man Far From Home: Venice, burying forests, and microphone proliferation

VPNs

MJ’s VPN advice. VPN advertising on YouTube.

Venice

How to build a whole city on mud. Transplanting alder forests from on some ground to under some other ground. Hard clay is worse than bedrock. Measuring a sinking city’s rate of subsidence with space-based radar and GPS. Climate change sure isn’t helping any. What value should we place on artifacts of human civilization? Losing UNESCO world heritage sites. The MOSE project. Climate change and rising sea levels. What will the world do?

VFX

Advanced holography with drones! Photoreal real-time rendering. LED walls. Projection mapping. Lasers in your eyes.

Smart glasses

Inward and outward-facing smart glass technologies. Wearable ubiquity. Evolution of “smart glasses” from Google Glass to Echo Frames. Magic Leap? Bone conduction and having discrete interactions with your personal assistant.

Spider-Man Far From Home: iTunes | Amazon
This Video Is Sponsored By ███ VPN by Tom Scott: YouTube
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse: particle colliders, art, and magnetic monopolies w/ Adrian Falcone: Decipher SciFi

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Thor Dark World: Finnish-ish, amphetamines, and weaponized gravity

Background

Looking back after the culmination of all these threads in Endgame. Queen Amidala’s midichlorian magical umbrella.

Language

Thor knowing All-Tongue, emitting pheromones, and doing the bee dance. The difficutly of universal language or language understanding. Finnishish conlanging. The cultural and linguistic juxtaposition between Scandinavia and Finland.

Alignment of worlds

Astrology is bunkum nonsense gobbledegook. The miniscule and generally unimportant effects when bodies in space are “in alignment.”

“Magic”

Our difficulties with magical realism. Asgardian “Smagic.” Apparent technology levels and technology so advanced it looks like magic. Bringing swords and shields to a lasergun fight.

Battle stimulation

Dosing for war. Uppers are very popular. The Finnish soldier who was the “first documented case of a soldier over overdosing on methamphetamines during combat.”

Black holes etc

“Gravity grenades.” The possibility of man-made miniature black holes.

Vikings

“Viking burials” but not like you thought. Tumuli/barrows/kurgans. Horned helmets.

Links

Thor The Dark World: iTunes | Amazon
Guardians of the Galaxy: Decipher SciFi
Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Decipher SciFi
Avengers Infinity War: Decipher SciFi
Black Panther: Decipher SciFi
Avengers Endgame: Decipher SciFi

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Avengers Endgame: Appreciating the enormity of the MCU

A review

Spoiler alert: we liked this movie

Phase 1

Appreciating the establishment of the characters of Iron Man and Captain America. That grenade scene. Joss Whedon writing and directing teams of characters learning to work together. Realizing the first movie in the MCU came out in 2008. Realizing just how long ago 2008 was.

Phase 2

James Gunn appreciation (ps Super was really really good!). Guardians introducing a new level of comedy into the MCU.

Phase 3

Guardians dad feels. Our favorite MCU movies. Appreciating Spiderverse even though it doesn’t count.

Money and The Mouse

The huge money-making power of this franchise. A review of budgets and revenue in the MCU. Feeling conflicted about enjoying these otherwise-impossible projects while Disney slowly buys up the entirety of western media.

Time travel quantum gobbledlygook

Time travel. Single-timeline time travel vs branching-timelines. The classic scientific “Loki-Hypercube paradox.” Timeline diagram for Avengers: Endgame. Avoiding the Novikov self-consistency principle for paradox avoidance. The “Deutsch proposition.” Robbing Peter in one timeline to pay Paul in another. Playing the time travel genie to wish for more wishes.

Characters

Character growth. Going over Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, etc. Observing how these characters have grown over time.

Links

MCU on Decipher SciFi: Guardians 1 | Guardians 2 | Avengers Infinity War
Avengers: Endgame timeline diagram: imgur
Marvel movie budgets and box office revenue: Reddit
“The Limitations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” by Patrick Willems: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Aquaman: cetaceans, riding sea animals, and the bends

DCEU

Aquaman as a sign of possibility the of interesting things going forward in the DC Extended Universe. Sexy Jason Mamoa. Underwater Superman.

Atlantis

Unlimited power when everyone else thought the world was flat. Appreciating the innovation that was realizing the Earth was mostly spherical. Ancient Greek steam turbans. Eating raw fish and seaweed. the origins of sushi. The careful application of lava for removing parasites.

Sea mammals

Underwater echolocation. Communication by sound. The possibility of cetacean languages. Torpedo-shaped body plans and efficient insulation. Breathing fluids (but not sea water!).

Deep diving

Decompression sickness. Why you really don’t want bubbles in your fluids. The differing breath-holding techniques of whales at different depths. Whales that get decompression sickness.

Domesticating sea animals

The list of traits that make for good domesticatiion: “Friendly, feedable, fecund, and family-friendly” and how hard it might be to find the full set of traits in the ocean. The ultimate futility of trying to domesticate sharks.

Links:

Aquaman: iTunes | Amazon Prime Video | YouTube
Zebra vs Horses: Animal Domestication by CGP Grey: YouTube

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Avengers Infinity War : Episode 142

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Avengers Infinity War

What: Thanos goes glove-shopping
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets : Episode 119

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

What: A race of highly-intelligent tailless Navi are left without a planet and survive across space and time until they can rebuild their homeworld. Also there are two humans.
Directed by: Luc Besson
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 : Episode 108

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iTunes | Amazon

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

What: Like the first Guardians of the Galaxy, but more and better. And with Kurt Russel!
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen gillia, Michael Rooker, James Gunn’s brother from gilmore girls

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Judge Dredd [1995] : Episode 99

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iTunes | Amazon

Judge Dredd [1995]

What: Lawwwwwwwww. And spandex. And desert hobos.
Directed by: Danny Cannon
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Rob Schneider, Diane Lane, Max Von Sydow

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Kingsman: The Secret Service : Episode 94

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iTunes | Amazon

Kingsman: The Secret Service

What: Gentlemen spies fight with umbrellas.
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong

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Guardians of the Galaxy : Episode 89

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iTunes | Amazon

Guardians of the Galaxy

What: Charming rag-tag group of unlikely heroes unite to… guard the galaxy. From evil things.
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista

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